Tuesday, December 19, 2017
CB7 had something to talk about last night
Over a decade ago, a carefully crafted agreement was made between the previous owner, government and the community pertaining to the property formerly known as Bayrock/Waterpointe on the Whitestone waterfront.
This agreement, which was negotiated with former Councilmember now-State Senator Tony Avella; Community Board 7; and local residents and civic associations called for 52 single-family detached houses and a waterfront park on what was then a lightly contaminated site. I was personally involved in reviewing the initial proposal, subsequent changes and final submission as an urban planning consultant to then Councilmember Avella.
The site was initially cleaned up correctly. It was then sold and purposefully contaminated with heavily polluted debris, creating the need for a DEC consent order demanding the correct clean-up of the site to proceed with development.
While this was happening, the current owners started to pitch that they wanted/needed to build a much denser development than what was agreed to. There is no question that this is a non-starter with the community, the Community Board and Senator Avella.
However, with the site having been purposely contaminated *again* the idea that the developers are seeking anything less than a full clean up of their property is difficult to believe. It is even more unbelievable that the NY State DEC and other regulatory agencies are considering going against their own regulations which do not allow a Level IV cleanup to occur when the development plans are for single-family detached homes under multiple ownership.
This project must not be allowed to proceed without the full Level I cleanup that is necessary for public safety, not to mention future homeowners who may purchase houses on this site. Anything less than this is clearly irresponsible and should be immediately challenged by the public.
Paul Graziano, Principal
Associated Cultural Resource Consultants